Linux Advocates Need Customer Perspective12:00 AM EST Mon. Mar. 26, 2007
Here we go again. With a new player throwing its Red Hat into the ring, the CRN Test Center takes another look at which of the major Linux desktop offerings is the best choice for solution providers and their enterprise customers. This has been a hot issue for readers, and you can expect this will be an ongoing coverage area for us.
In our analysis, the CRN Test Center's Mario Morejon factors application bundles, compatibility issues, ease of deployment and support for the channel into the equation. For the full review, you'll need to check out this month's CRNtech Bake-Off. I'll give you a heads up, though: Novell SUSE continues to have the upper hand.
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Novell's technology-sharing pact with Microsoft certainly raised the hackles of Linux advocates and vendors that quite rightly see Microsoft as enemy No. 1. Certainly, no company knows better than Novell the dangers of dealing with the folks in Redmond. But Novell also knows that customers really don't care about tech turf feuds. They just want technology to work as seamlessly as possible. For customers, the bigger enemy is squabbling vendors.
On this issue, solution providers are generally aligned with their customers. Technology is a business, and bragging about being "a pure Linux company" isn't going to get you too far—not as far as being able to brag about interoperability and multivendor support.
On the channel support issue, the interests of customers and solution providers are also in close alignment. Customers know that if their solution providers are not adequately supported, then they, in turn, are not going to get the support they need. Novell, too, is a company that understands that supporting a channel is what customers want—because the ultimate end game is being able to deliver service and support to users.
The bottom line: Trying to ignore or boycott Microsoft is not a sound competitive strategy for the Linux community, not from the end customer's nor from the channel's point of view.
Speaking of the channel's perspective, check out our Deep Dive software review, featuring our first CRNtech review penned by a solution provider. AppTech, which was on the hunt for a good PDF creation utility, shares its technical and channel program analysis with readers. You can expect to see more reviews in CRNtech from qualified solution providers. It's all about providing informed perspective.
HAVE SOMETHING ON YOUR MIND? CRNtech welcomes letters from solution providers. Send your comments to CRNtech Executive Editor John Longwell at email@example.com.